Protect Yourself, Your Family and our Town from Mosquito Transmitted Viruses
For 2021, the Town has again contracted a professional company to set out traps, collect and test for West Nile Virus and should WNV be identified, larvicide and adulticide as necessary. Town staff will be actively looking for areas of mosquito breeding and treating those areas as necessary. Residents and businesses can help the Town by looking for area mentioned below and eliminating sources and habitat for mosquitoes.
We encourage you to continue to take precautions as noted below to reduce risks from mosquito bites.
The mosquito life cycle is explained via the graphic below:
A mosquito can spend anywhere between 5-14 days developing from an egg, to larva, and pupa before emerging as an adult mosquito. Once they are adults, the males will feed on plant nectar and typically only living for a few days. Only females actually bite, as they need the blood meal for the proteins in order to make eggs. They can live for about a month, but their life cycle is very dependent on climate conditions. During the winter, females can over-winter in a hibernation type state in culverts, catch basins and similar areas. When temperatures begin to increase in the spring, they will become active and looking for meals and areas to lay eggs. As the summer heat sets in, their life cycle can actually speed up and development from egg to adult can remain closer to the quicker end of development.
According to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, 85 different mosquito species have been identified in Texas. Of these, some are simply nuisance biters, while others are important vectors of arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses). There are seven major arbovirus/virus groups that infect humans that are endemic in or can be involved in local transmission in Texas. These include:
- West Nile virus (WNV)
- St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLE)
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE)
- California serogroup viruses (CE)
- Chikungunya (ChikV)
The graphic below explains the relationship between vectors (mosquitos), hosts (birds), and dead end hosts (Horses and humans) for WNV.
Actions by the Town
The Town of Prosper has hired a 3rd party to trap and test mosquitoes for the presence of WNV. The trapping results will be updated weekly once trapping begins for the year and as new results are received.
Fogging or Spraying Neighborhoods
Should the Town receive consecutive positive mosquito samples, the Town’s contractor will be brought in to treat the area where the positive trap is located. This will be either by specifically targeting an area with backpack or UTV sprayers or with traditional truck mounted ULV spray rigs. The Town will only larvicide and/or adulticide an area based off of trapping resulting in positive tests for WNV. Should confirmation from Collin/Denton County Health Departments of a human case, the Town’s contractor will treat the neighborhoods near the home of the confirmed case.
Should you receive notice or see a sign that Fogging or Spraying will occur in your neighborhood, please note the following:
- The active ingredient (permethrin) utilized for ULV fogging is commonly found in many household, pet and livestock spray items. But the toxicity used in this fogging is much less than homeowner products available through a hardware store. Mosquito products available for yard applications have from 32 times to 110 times more concentration of the active ingredient than the product used for ULV ground fogging.
- If able, pets should be brought indoors or put into a protected area. Outdoor water dishes should be emptied and refilled the next morning.
- Filters on air conditioning systems are sufficient to filter the product from the living space, so please do not turn off the air system.
- Produce grown in your yard may be rinsed before consumption, but risk of contamination is extremely low.
- During the nights of the application, ornamental fishponds can be covered with tarps or plastic. Coverings should be removed at daylight the following day.
- This material does not pose an issue for honeybees, since the bees are not actively foraging while the application is taking place. However, honeybee colonies can be covered after dark on the nights of the scheduled fogging, with the covers promptly removed at dawn the following day. The material is precisely calibrated in a droplet size to impact an insect with the body mass of a mosquito, and the material volatilizes (vaporizes) after about five minutes.
- If some material happens to form residue on the ground or plants, the product is very rapidly degraded when exposed to UV light.
We Need Your Help
Personal bite avoidance as well as mosquito control are considered the only practical methods for protecting humans from West Nile Virus and other arboviruses that mosquitoes can transmit. Areas around homes and around properties can have numerous areas that have the potential for mosquito breeding to take place.
Keep window screens are in good condition and refresh water in bird baths and pet dishes every few days. These and other areas shown above can all prevent the ability for mosquitoes to live around your home.
Remember to follow the 4 D’s to reduce your risk of mosquito bites
- DEFEND Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other effective repellents.
- DRESS Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
- DRAIN As noted above, remove all areas of standing water around your home.
- DUSK to DAWN Limit outdoor activities from dusk to dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active